Monday, August 16, 2010

RIAA attempt to recast net neutrality debate as being about... oh, guess

As Google and Verizon flirt with each other and try to explain why making some content more equal than others is good news (for people other than Google and Verizon), the RIAA has an opinion.

Of course it does.

They've picked up this bit of Gooizon's statement:

[B]oth companies have long been proponents of the FCC’s current wireline broadband openness principles, which ensure that consumers have access to all legal content on the Internet, and can use what applications, services, and devices they choose. The enforceability of those principles was called into serious question by the recent Comcast court decision. Our proposal would now make those principles fully enforceable at the FCC.
The mere hint of the word 'legal' in that paragraph has, once fed into the RIAA hive-mind, come out as somehow proving that listening to an Osmond song without paying is on a par with raping a child and putting the photos online:
Industry giants Google and Verizon recently announced what they term a “joint policy proposal for an open Internet.” Our view? We appreciate that Google and Verizon, like the FCC and Congress, recognize that lawful and unlawful content should be treated differently. We look forward to seeing the specifics of the proposal once it is fleshed out, and to actively participating in the legislative and regulatory process to ensure that any ultimate solution permits and encourages ISPs to take measures to deter unlawful activity over their networks, whether copyright infringement, child pornography or other illegal conduct.
Actually, Google and Verizon don't say anything at all about unlawful content - and certainly nothing about how "unlawful" content should be treated. Saying that everything which is properly available on the internet should be given the same treatment is not the same thing as proposing there should be different treatment for anything else.

But - in the spirit of reading things into statements that aren't quite there - let us just record our surprise at the RIAA for its support for the principle of governments blocking access to content online. We look forward to the RIAA explaining exactly how far it wants Maoist regimes to go in throttling off what the citizenry can think. To dissent, remember, is like being a child pornographer.